For more than a decade, Matt Olsen has been at the forefront of our nation’s national security efforts and has played a pivotal role in shaping our response to terrorism, cybersecurity and surveillance. He now helps lead a cybersecurity technology firm. With his unique experience and insightful analysis, Olsen provides an engaging and candid look at some of the most important and far-reaching challenges facing the country.
When Matt Olsen recently left government, President Obama observed that “every American is safer because of his service.” As the director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) for the past three years, Olsen has been at the center of the nation’s efforts to defend the country against a complex and expansive terrorism threat. In this role, Olsen has been responsible for keeping senior leaders, including the President and the National Security Council, apprised of threats facing the country and for coordinating our efforts to identify and disrupt terrorist plots. He helped lead the counterterrorism community through several terror attacks, including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2012 assault in Benghazi, Libya.
Prior to his service at NCTC, Olsen was the general counsel at the National Security Agency and an official at the Department of Justice. In these positions, Olsen played a leading role in shaping the government’s efforts to enhance cybersecurity and to conduct intelligence operations against foreign terrorist targets, while maintaining our adherence to the rule of law and the protection of civil liberties. He also led the government’s review of detainees at Guantanamo. Based on his unique experiences, Olsen provides a discerning perspective on the security challenges facing the country and shares his insights on navigating crises and the role of leadership.